Blood Orange: A Surprising Citrus Treat

I love citrus fruit in winter. Something about the cold dark winter days makes me crave the bright colors and tastes of citrus. Mandarins and grapefruit have been consistently in the grocery cart, and no matter how many I buy, this household of 6 consumes them within a couple days. But today the store had…

Plant-based and oil free tamales: Who knew fat free could be so tasty?

I never really thought much about eliminating all oils from the diet until last year. My in-laws embarked on a plant-based and oil free diet to combat severe heart disease. What diet is that? They eat essentially vegan, but eliminate all oils as well, so no coconut oil, avocado, or olive oil.They eat lots of…

Chia seeds: Banned into obscurity, but back and more popular than ever

Chia seeds. In recent years we find them in smoothies, in breads, crackers, puddings, granola, cereal, even in our juices and drinks. So how did chia migrate from the “fur” on our chia pets to our daily menu? Chia, salvia hispanica, was a traditional food crop of the Aztecs, and grows native in Mexico and…

Banana flower salad: another way to eat banana

Up until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of banana flower salad. I have always enjoyed bananas, but I had never heard of eating a banana flower at all. At a specialty produce store I saw the banana flowers and decided to buy them and figure out what to do with them when…

Smoothies: Drinking Your Way to Diversity (Part 2)

Many things come to mind when we think of smoothies. Some people think of a breakfast drink, others think of dessert. Some think of a creamy yogurt/milk drink, others think of blended frozen fruits. A smoothie is all these things and the perfect drink to mix up lots of different fruits, vegetables, herbs, nuts, seeds…

Teff (Eragrostis tef): An Alternative Grain

Teff is an annual grass that is native to Ethiopia and Eritrea. Sometimes called lovegrass, teff is the smallest grain, and it is gluten free. It is highly nutritious, and according to the whole grains council, it can be grown in a wide range of climates where many other grains can not. Teff is a…

Special Diets: What’s missing from our list?

    You may have noticed that there are a few common food items that are missing from from our 1000 foods list. Undoubtedly there will be common foods that will never make it to your list either. It’s a new year, and lots of people are following special diets by choice to improve their…

Tsukemono- a Japanese pickling adventure

Tsukemono, Japanese pickled foods, are served with most traditional Japanese meals along with rice and miso soup. They serve many purposes. They are used as garnish, for palate cleansing, as a relish and digestive. There are several different types of tsukemono. Probably the most common type is the simple salt pickle, shiozuke. Shiozuke Shiozuke is…

Grains: There are more options than you may think

Ten years ago we discovered that both my husband and daughter can not eat wheat or any of the grains with gluten. We were at a loss. Many of the foods in our pantry were processed and most of the things in our cupboard had gluten. Soups, noodles, crackers, cereal, condiments all had gluten.We had…

Pickles

There are many ways to make pickles.  In times past, different vegetables were  lacto-fermented as a way to preserve them from the time of harvest through the winter, or for a long journey. Lacto-fermenting is a type of pickling that increases the beneficial bacteria in a food and is therefore good for the health of…

National hot tea month: Drinking your way to diversity (Part 1)

January is national hot tea month, and in Northern Michigan, I think this is an appropriate time for it. The weather outside is cold, windy and snowy. With about 4-8 inches of snow in the last 24 hours, I started my morning with some hot tea. Drinking tea is a great way to increase variety…